Lethbridge Herald (Newspaper) - December 9, 1970, Lethbridge, Alberta
Ray Goodall What is a 'university education'? ...........mm i mm i �*>n.......,tj-r........fPI!,rT../..w..ww^,T IP&CBL? ETOWffi T DETECT a groundswell which may be preliminary to a storm which could threaten the "ivory tower." There is talk of shoring up defences, throwing out buttresses in the direction of greater "relevance," which tends to be interpreted in terms of job preparation. University education, we are told, should be more utilitarian; it should be more concerned with preparing young people for an economically productive function. Let us examine this proposition. Since there are more than 20,000 job categories in North America it is difficult to see how any one institutional type could adequately prepare students for all these areas of economic productivity or service. So, if not for all 20,000 job categories, for what proportion? The fact is of course, that universities are already directly and indirectly preparing students for a great variety of jobs; universities have numerous affiliated schools and institutes - engineering, social work, education, medicine, dentistry, forestry, divinity, architecture, community planning etc. etc. So universities are, right now, being economically relevant. However, I hear a suggestion that much which is currently being taught in universities does not have a direct relationship to the prospective careers of students; there is too much that is divorced from "real life." If "real life" is interpreted simply in bread-and- Avoid Smoke From NEA Service THE LIST of maladies for which cigarettes are supposedly responsible seerns to be endless. A Redding, Calif., physician claims that habitual smoking causes crow's-feet and other wrinkling of the facial skin. Dr. Harry W. Daniell also says that threats of crow's-feet are more effective in making his female patients give up smoking than warnings about some-tiling minor like lung cancer. As the commercial for a new ladies' cigarette puts .it, "You've come a long way, baby" - and you look it. butter terms then much of what happens in universities may be irrelevant, gloriously irrelevant, since I am convinced that there is more to life than bread-and-butter concerns. There's a searching, inquiring, exploring, which has no immediate and direct relevance to job situations and career opportunities. If people want an education which is simply concerned with utilitarian matters they can move to trade schools, technical institutes, or community colleges, all excellent institutions, but they don't do the job which the university does. University education is not utilitarian in any narrow sense, but it does have utility; it is useful in so far as it helps some students to become aware of our priceless human heritage; it helps some students towards a deeper understanding of the significance of living, human living in general and their own living in particular; it is useful in so far as it opens up various fields of inquiry which students can pursue throughout their lifetime; it is useful because, although it is concerned with "content" it is even more concerned with "process" - the "how" of inquiry not just the "what." Universities have had an honored place in the education system of most well - developed Taking away wives' independence I^TTAWA - The personal ^ capacity to be both playboy and professor is the basis of Pierre Elliott Trudeau's immense political appeal. He has wooed the women with his charm while winning the men with reason. The political weakness of his white paper on income security is that it asks women to respond like men. Instead of the glamorous Pierre kissing their cheeks, the women are suddenly faced with Dr. Trudeau lecturing them on logic. To make things worse, the Prime Minister is coming between women and their husbands at that most sensitive point of marital relations, money. Sex is one thing, dollars are far more serious. For thousands of middle-class wives, the family allowance has been their only source of private income. Their husbands may provide generously for them from his earnings, but their independence, their pocket money, has come in a monthly personal cheque from the federal government. Now Mr. Trudeau is going to take that independence away, by cancelling the family allowance for families with incomes over $10,000. The romantic Pierre becomes just another dominating male, a footnote in the long history of sexual politics. The Prime Minister has a perfectly reasonable explanation. There are only two ways to raise $500 million to help the poor families in real need. One way is to raise taxes on the By Anthony Westell broad middle class, where all the money is. The other way is to cut back on some of the benefits going to the middle-class people who don't really need them, and to redirect these resources to the poor. Plenty of land From NEA Service AMERICA has plenty of land to meet its farming, ranching, forestry and living space needs for the foreseeable future, according to a survey by government soil scientists and conservationists in 3,087 of the nation's 3,135 counties. If-we take care of it. A "Conservation Needs Inventory" reveals that the nation's land, thanks to continually increasing efficiency, is feeding and clothing an increasing population even with reduced acreages. Since the previous inventory in 1958, population has increased 24 million, yet cropland has declined by 10 million acres and privately owned pasture and range has decreased by three million acres. In the same period, 11 mil-Bon acres were added to urban and built-up areas and- a figure to warm a conservationist's heart-9.5 million acres were added to forests. On the other hand, the scientists warn that three-fifths of the present cropland, 67 per cent of pasture and range and 62 per c e n t of private forest-land is not bedng treated with proper conservation measures. The middle class is already grumbling about the weight of taxation so Mr. Trudeau did not want to increase that burden. The alternative was to out off family allowances to the relatively well - off, and to double allowances to the poor. Logical? Of course it is. But the plan treats a man and his wife as one unit for financial purposes, and many families are not that way at all. An increase in taxes would fall mainly on the husband and wage-earner. Taking away the family allowance falls mainly on the wife. And tens of thousands of middle - class wives - the sort of people who most admire Mr. Trudeau and go conscientiously to the polls to vote Liberal - will bitterly resent the loss of their cheques. This political danger was clearly recognized by Health and Welfare Minister John Munro and others in the cabinet who fought for a different type of guaranteed income scheme but who lost that battle. * * Another major political weakness in the white paper is the disappointment of about 800,000 old age pensioners - or one-half the total. Canadian politicians have been bidding against each other for years by raising pensions and the elderly have come to expect a steady improvement in income. Much of the speculation before publication of the white paper led old people to believe that they could expect a raise. But Mr. Trudeau had much fhe same choice here as he faced with family allowances. To pay more to those in need, he had to raise taxes or cut back on those not in need. His solution in the case of pensions is a compromise. The government will find some of the extra cash, by taxing or borrowing, and the rest will be found by putting a ceiling of $80 a month on payments to old people not in need. So the 800,000 pensioners who are not in need because they have some private income are cut off from the increase in benefits they expected. Further, they will not in future receive increases in step with the cost of living, so the value of their pension may actually decline. Mr. Munro and others in the cabinet argued against this political folly, loo, and lost. The counter - argument, of course, is that more people will gain from the white paper proposals than will lose. But the gains in many cases will be so small that they will arouse appetites rather than satisfy. The real political question is whether Mr. Trudeau, with his potent mixture of charm and intellect, can now reason with the disillusioned women and charm the questioning men. (Toronto Star Syndicate) The natural choice for entertaining! Nature's own bubbles ... naturally light, lively flavour... and our traditional wine-making process, make this the one wine you can serve with confidence anytime! Calona Crackling Rose. Try this sparkling pink, champagne-quality wine next time you entertain. Your guests will appreciate your good taste... and oursl Calona -Western Canada's leading winemaker. 1 Crackling Rose Royal White Italian Vermouth And try these other 1 Crackling White Sweet Sherry Double Jack fine Calona Wines f Royai Red Muscatel' Cherry Jack J Red Dry White Port Quebec's immigrants From the Winnipeg Free Press THERE IS nothing new in Quebec's latest complaints about Canadian immigration policy and the province's demands for changes that would suit its purposes better. Three years ago, Premier Daniel Johnson made it clear that his Union Nationale government was putting pressure on the federal government to give Quebec a greater voice in immigration recruitment. At that time it was reported that an agreement had been reached by Quebec's provincial secretary and Jean Marchand, then manpower minister, which would result in "a great break-through" for provincially organized immigration schemes. If tliere was such an agreement, clearly it has not worked out, for now the Bourassa government is reported to want changes to the immigration act whereby Ottawa would turn back immigrants mtending to come to Quebec unless t h e v were willing to become part of the French-speaking community. The provincial government is disturbed because so many people coming to Quebec from abroad apparently see less advantage in beccnriing French-speaking Quebecers than in becoming part of the English-speaking community. Not long ago a survey showed that 80 per cent of the 3,000 immigrant children who arrived in Montreal in 1969 voted for English education, after being enrolled in French "integration" classes. The reason given for this "leaning" of the children was wrong information given to immigrants before they left their homeland. Plainly the federal government would be ill advised to do anything about Quebec's re-f|uesl, olher than perhaps to correct any misinformation that may be given and to use the art of persuasion on would-be immigrants to Quebec. For what would happen if the law were changed and immigrants to Quebec at some later time opted to become English-speaking, or leave for other parts? The request simply does not. make sense, and Ottawa would do well to ignore it. Now that the shouting is over countries, sometimes, no doubt, as a result of a rather narrow elitist appeal; Lhey have been havens of privilege; but even so, they have produced innumerable leaders in all fields of human endeavor. In any country which aspires to a level of leadership beyond that of mere mediocrity, universities must still have an honored place because they do aim to produce individuals who aro capable of making a strongly positive contribution to social life, individuals who can analyze problems and suggest solutions. Some contemporary governments seem to find it difficult to appreciate the fundamental non - utilitarian orientation of universities. This, of course, is quite natural, since governments are immersed in bread-and-butter considerations, and they are responsive to bread-and-butter demands of their consitutents. But some of our "God - oriented governments" at least (and surely Mr. Bennett is not the only politician with a pipeline to God!) should realize that "man does not live by bread alone" - nor butter! There are more things to an education than preparing to get a job. Universities are for people who are concerned with expanding their horizons, enlarging their understanding, sharpening their mental perceptions, cultivating their feelings, interacting on more than a physical level. Personally I am of the opinion that a university education should be FREELY available for all who want this kind of education; and moreover, this kind of education should be a prereauisite for all those people who are moving into people-centred professions, e.g., medicine, social work, politics, business management, education, etc. Also, I suggest that any government with vision and true concern for the people will be prepared to give a strong lead and support university education maximally because of the long-term social benefits which accrue from such education. The social benefits of university education do not have to be PROVED; they have been demonstrated through centuries of university operation. The benefits of course, do have to be applied today. Universities aim at producing, and have produced throughout the centuries, people who are equipped to deal with this thing called life, who are able to adapt to situations and change situations, and provide leadership without which the people would certainly perish. Those who wish for a different type of education, one more tied-in with jobs and careers, should look elsewhere than at universities: or perhaps universities themselves should have several streams within their own system, with a job-oriented stream, or school, as an addendum to the basic "liberal arts" program. Many universities do have this structure today. For those who want to dispense with 'liberal arts' altogether and get down to the business of learning a trade or job, there are the trade schools and vocational and community colleges - every bit as important in the total educational system as the universities, but serving a different function. These are the institutions which can act as brokers on the job market, but, as I see it, this is definitely NOT the function of the university. From The Financial Post AN AD A emerged from the recent talks ^ with U.S. cabinet ministers with some notable gains, some losses and the usual thick file of unsettled issues. Considering the large number and the nature of economic and trade problems up for discussion in two days, it was a productive session. There can be no question that in the vital area of access to U.S. oil markets, Canada won solid, immediately recognizable gains. Although Ottawa seems vague about any quid pro quo, the way seems to have been cleared for Canada to export increasing amounts of surplus oil to the U.S. This assurance of markets will clearly spark exploration activity in Canada, just as it has already sparked' a dramatic climb in the price of some Western oil stocks. There was discernible, if less conclusive, progress on other sticky fronts. Canada, for example, won U.S. agreement to look more closely at problems involving the extension of U.S. laws into Canada. There was agreement to try to influence Common Market negotiators to consider third party interests during current talks on British entry. Both sides, as expected, found that on some issues quick mutually - agreeable solutions were impossible. The future terms of the North American Auto Pact will continue to be negotiated in an effort to find a middle ground between safeguards for Canada and free trade. The U.S. embargo on Canadian uranium will not likely be lifted quickly. Canadian fears over rising U.S. protectionism in Congress were not realistically allayed, despite numerous assurances by the U.S. side that protectionism did not, in most cases, have administration support. There were other topics - pollution, balance of payments - where ministers after much straight table talk, agreed to disagree and perhaps find ways to close the gap in coming months and years. This, in itself, is no mean achievement. William Rogers, U.S. Secretary of State, said following the talks that the U.S. never forgets that it shares the continent with Canada and that "our most vital national interests will be best served if Canada is economically and politically strong." It is important that U.S. ministers like Rogers remember that they never forget, at least once a year. Canadian textbooks From the Winnipeg Free Press TN all the furore about the use (or non-use) of Canadian textbooks in Canadian schools because of the purchase of Canadian publishing houses by American companies, it is usually forgotten that it is not the publishing houses which have the ultimate say in the choice of school texts but Die provincial departments of education. It is also easy to become so excited about the textbook industry as to overlook the facts. These, for those who are interested enough to want to know them, are available in detail in the most recent issue of the Canadian book - trade publication, Quill and Quire. That the Canadian textbook market is big is obvious from the over - all figure: in 1969 textbooks in Canada realized a total of from $35 to 40 million. Naturally American as well as Canadian houses were interested1 in this business - and they received a reasonable, but not excessive, share. Non-Canadian texts, according to Quill and Quire, con-ailed 26.42 per cent of the market; but that left 73.58 per cent still in Canadian hands. On the basis of these figures it does not seem that Canadian publishing houses are doing too badly, and those who are raising the cry of a lack of Canadian content in textbooks are doing so without too much consideration of the facts. Pot and the laiv From the Christian Century THERE IS no more vexing intersection of law and morality these days than the drug scene. The use and abuse of drugs are matters which deeply concern parents, educators, doctors, clergymen, the military, the police, the judiciary and- not least-young people facing what they view as the moral confusion and hypocrisy of their elders. With dreadful frequency, concern is converted into grief. In declaring our support for the legalization of marijuana on a provisional basis, we hope to make at least a modest contribution to greater moral clarity. It is not with any disregard for the problems of law enforcement that we urge the repeal of most present statutes relating to pot: it is precisely because present laws are impediments to legal justice and unrealistic in their demands on public authorities that we have come to this position. We do not deny the existence of a growing drug problem of life-and-deatll seriousness. But that very problem has been badly obscured by the indiscriminate lumping of marijuana with such hard drugs and proven menaces as heroin. The turning to such hard drugs by increasing numbers of young people is not simply a consequence of the tensions involved in trying out new life styles in a society they regard as sick: it is, at least in part, a result of the harsh penalties for pot at the diffusion of effective law enforcement under present laws. There is as yet no conclusive medical evidence concerning the harmful effects of pot smoking. There is more persuasive evidence that nicotine and alcohol are harmful - but our society does not incarcerate people for selling or smoking "straight" cigarettes or, in very many places, for the sale or consumption of li- quor. Thousands of Americans are now in jail simply because they have used marijuana. The number is very large when one reckons the lives and families and careers involved. Legalization of marijuana ought to provide immediate amnesty for such persons. But the incarcerated thousands are only a. very small fraction of the total of marijuana users in the U.S., which may be as high as 20 million. It is that kind of statistic, somwhere 'way up in the millions, which puts the problem of equitable law enforcement in perspective. There can be scant respect for the dignity of law when millions regularly violate its provisions, which they believe to be unjust, while a few thousand unfortunates languish in jail convinced that they have been victimized by a government which is arbitrarily punitive and pathologically disordered in its own priorities. It is already very late for the church to muster any show of moral wisdom on the marijuana issue. Ethical timidity, prohibitionist panic and blatant ignorance have characterized too much of the leadership of the religious community when it addresses itself to the fast-moving drug scene. We're not at all persuaded that there is amy ultimately good use for marijuana. Nobody will get any encouragement from us to smoke pot - or to smoke anything, for that matter. Our position, as we said, is provisional. If and when clear and persuasive evidence is available that marijuana per se is a very serious threat to the health and welfare of the nation, we'll want to say something about that. Some laws are in order for dealing with the distribution of pot and the social consequences of its excessive use, just as they are for liquor. The issue is language From Quebec Le Soleil THE language confict between 2,400 workers and General Motors at Ste. Therese threatens to delay seriously a solution to a strike that is well into its third month. Proof is growing that methods other than polite persuasion will have to be employed to convince the American collosus to recognize fundamental rights such as the working language. If the workers' demands were exaggerated, as has happened too often in union demands, we could attempt to explain General Motors' attitude. But now, and this is what appears to be most frustrating, the demands are surprisingly moderate and are restricted in sum to respect for French inside the plant. In brief, the demands are for the abolition of discrimination toward French-language workers. They ask that French-speaking persons have access to all occupations under jurisidction of the negotia- tions . . . They ask that foremen be able to communicate in French with their subordinates and, finally, that grievances be debated and resolved in French. It is a policy of language integrated in work. However, despite the repeated objurgations of Premier Bourassa, of Labor Minister Jean Cournoyer and the three large Quebec unions, General Motors persists in being stubborn and seems to be ignoring the fact that in coming to Quebec, it was fundamentally, in the words of Mr. Bourassa, to "become a Quebeeer" and accept to speak the language of the majority, which is French. As long as it (GM) will not... admit that despite the judicial bilingual character of Quebec, the majority of the popula t i o n speak French and must work in that language ... It will become more and more urgent to oppose its attitude by legislative measures. What DO you By Dong Walker know? TATE one afternoon recently I stepped into the back shop at The Herald and out of the gloom Charles Bauer emerged grumbling about an apparent power failure. Spying me he said, "do you know anything about the electrical currents in this place?" When I admitted that that was something outside my ken, Charlie resignedly said, "I know you don't know anything about building fences, but I thought you might happen to know something about electricity . . , don't you know anything?"